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Installation Instructions

Apex Handguard Installation Instructions

Revised 11/26/13

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Apex Handguards are designed to be rigid and strong, to hold accessories stable, and to create a secure connection between firearm and shooter. Installation requires some knowledge of the assembly of AR10 & AR15 rifles. You may choose a qualified gunsmith to install your handguard, if desired.

Materials required:

Factory Barrel Nut                                                                                                                                           VC-3 Vibra-Tite or Blue Loctite (DO NOT USE RED GREEN) or Equivalent             

Tools required:

5/32” hex key
1/8” hex key



Tightening screws during installation will mark the finish on our products. If product is returned within 30 days of purchase date:

                    Never installed                    100%

                    Previously installed             50% refund

                    All returns are evaluated before refunds are made.



1.  Mount Accessory Rails BEFORE the handguard is installed:

a. Place the rail nuts at the desired location inside the tube and thread screws thru the rail & tube to the nut

b. Adjust position and tighten

c. The rail nut is designed to deform slightly when drawn against the inside of the tube, thus securing the rail from loosening inadvertently (Blue Loctite may be used as a further precaution)

2. Mount Top Rails AFTER the handguard has been installed:

a. Thread special flat head screws (included) to mount rail directly to the tube using the holes along the top of the tube & clamp

b. A hex key is supplied with the top rail


Make sure weapon is unloaded before installing handguard on rifle.

A factory barrel nut will be required to be installed and properly torqued according to rifle manufacturer’s specifications (generally between 30-80 foot pounds), if assembling a rifle from the ground up.

1. If replacing existing handguard with the Apex Handguard:

a. Remove existing handguard and factory style barrel nut

b. Remove the delta ring-You may slice off the delta ring, snap ring, and spring with an abrasive wheel on a Dremel tool to eliminate removing the barrel nut

c. Replace the barrel nut

d. Follow ALL instructions under 6) below

2. If installing the handguard with a low profile gas block:

a. Install the low profile gas block to the barrel (if needed)

b. Follow ALL instructions under 6) below 

3. If a permanently installed muzzle device prevents the tube from sliding onto the muzzle end of the barrel:

a. Remove the barrel from the upper receiver

b. Slide the handguard tube onto the barrel assembly

c. Replace the barrel onto the upper receiver

d. Follow ALL instructions under 6) below

4. If a front sight gas block is used with a permanently installed muzzle device:

a. Loosen and slide the front sight gas block forward toward the muzzle end of the barrel

b. Follow ALL instructions under 3) above

c. Follow ALL instructions under 6) below

5. If a front sight gas block is used:

a. Loosen and slide the front gas block off the barrel

b. Follow ALL instructions under 6) below

c. Slide the front gas block back onto the barrel and secure it to the barrel after completing 6) below

6. Mounting the clamp and the handguard tube:

a. Place the two halves of the Apex Handguard System clamp around the barrel nut and thread the four socket head cap screws (included)partly in, leaving loose enough to allow some movement in the clamp. There should be a slight gap between clamp halves.

b. Slide the end of the handguard tube and line up with the four holes over the clamp and loosely install the four included button head screws.

c. Once the tube is over the clamp, position the assembly so that the clamp screws are facing the bottom of the rifle and snug all screws evenly, maintaining an equal gap between clamp halves.

d. Lastly, tighten all screws evenly to prevent movement of the clamp

e. After final safety and function checks, it is recommended that one screw at a time be removed and secured with VC-3 Vibra-Tite or Blue Loctite (DO NOT USE RED OR GREEN) or Equivalent, and torqued to APPROXIMATELY 60 INCH POUNDS. As with any piece of equipment, the screws should be checked periodically for tightness.

The most common problem occurs when clamp screws are over-torqued; there should be a slight gap between clamp halves even properly torqued. Torque is determined by multiplying the applied force by the distance from the pivot point to the point where the force is applied. A standard 5/32” Allen wrench is approximately 4.0” long; therefore, it will require 15 lbs. of down force to equal approximately 60 inch pounds.



7. If installing handguards with cutouts (2150 & 2250):

a. Remove the original sling swivel.

b. The ears of the swivel will need to removed

c. The bayonet lug may be left in place

d. An access hole for pinning the front sight gas block to the barrel is provided in the side of the handguard tube

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